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Fire and explosion of methane gas led to the coal mine tragedy in Nagaland

First Published: 1st February, 2024 20:06 IST

The tragic explosion in an illegal rat-hole mine in Nagaland’s Wokha district on January 25, which killed 6 labourers and injured 4 others, was caused by the fire and explosion

The tragic explosion in an illegal rat-hole mine in Nagaland’s Wokha district on January 25, which killed 6 labourers and injured 4 others, was caused by the fire and explosion of methane gas, said the Directorate of Geology and Mining.

The department said that the fire and explosion might have occurred due to a frictional spark while using a portable handheld drilling machine.

Upon inspection and based on the department’s records, it was revealed that the mine was an illegal mine (Rat hole mine 4ft x 4.5ft) being operated by locals in collaboration with some non-locals.

Furthermore, the department said that is trying to control illegal coal mining in the state. To prevent mine accidents in the future, the department is always ready to help and support coal miners in this regard and accordingly it expect the miners to cooperate with the department and follow the guidelines of mining method.

The accident in the illegal mine at Ruchan village under Bhandari sub division of Wokha district was occured around 1.00 PM, when as many as 10 labourers were working in the colliery.

6 of the labourers were killed on the spot while 4 were seriously injured.

The deceased labourers have been identied as–Majibul Ali (46), Kamal Bahadur Chetry (47), Bishal Thapa (28), Dol Bahadur Chetry (44), Bikram Rai (28) and Kharka Bahadur Chetry (60), all were from Sonapur under Uriamghat Police Station in Assam.

A suo moto case has been registered in the incident and as per the report submitted to Superintendent of Police (SP) Wokha by the Officer-in-charge (OC) of Bhandari Police Station, the coal mine in question had 4 owners and has been functioning since September 2023.

The 4 owners of the coalmine have been identified as–Moyithung Tungoe, Tsenjamo Mozhui, Akjur Ali and Saiful Ali.

The police report also says that the coal mine owners did not have any permit from any authorised agency to run the operations.

Also Read: Suo moto case registered in Nagaland coal mine tragedy that killed 6 labourers from Assam

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